How To Avoid Getting Scammed By A Fraudulent Payment Provider

When it comes to fraud in the world of business, Identity theft and other forms of customer-side cybercrimes tend to get the most attention. However, the frequently downplayed merchant account fraud is one of the most prevalent causes of financial loss for merchants.

If you are a business owner looking to start accepting debit and credit card payments, taking the right precautions will protect you from becoming a victim. Read on to uncover the most common forms of merchant account scams and what you can do to avoid them.

What are the popular merchant account scams?

Fraudulent merchant account providers have a variety of tactics at their disposal. Payment experts typically group the scams that result from these tactics into three forms: partial scams, full-scale scams, and backdoor scams.

1.      Partial scams

If your merchant account provider intentionally misleads you about its products and fees, they are running a partial scam. The hidden fees partial scam, for example, starts with a provider concealing extra charges to lure you into signing up with them. These charges later pop-up, or worse, remain hidden and unaccounted for until you receive a bill from your bank.

2.      Full-scale scams

In a full-scale scam, a merchant applies for an account with a fraudster posing as a merchant account provider. These criminals often target merchants looking for the cheapest rates. The first bill is usually higher than usual to suck out as much money as possible before you begin to suspect. Once the application is complete, the provider disappears.

3.      Backdoor scams

A backdoor scam involves altering a gateway’s program code to create a “backdoor” through which a malicious third-party can connect when the gateway is in use. Although it is an uncommon practice, some dubious merchant account providers create backdoors when programming their gateways into a merchant’s website.

How Can You Avoid Fraudulent Merchant Account Providers?

Falling victim to merchant account fraud can mean the end of your business. Fortunately, you can minimize the possibility of the right precautions.

1.      Do your research

Small businesses often fall victim to scammers because they are generally less educated about merchant account processes. Doing your homework before signing up gives you the sixth sense to notice contract terms that seem too good to be true. You can also reach out to your local authorities to confirm that they are a registered business,

2.      Read and re-read the contract

Before signing up, ask your prospective provider to share the full contract with you to examine it. Insist on getting a comprehensive breakdown of all the charges applied by both the payment processor and your bank. Furthermore, ensure you double-check and question all the suspiciously low rates.

3.      Trust online reviews

Before shaking hands with a merchant services provider, look up their reputation online. Client reviews on a provider’s website and social media accounts are a sure way to judge the legitimacy and quality of their services.

Independent articles and forums on expert websites can also be useful when choosing a provider. If you are interested in Worldpay, for example, look up Worldpay Reviews on Google and see if the provider has enough praises to make it an excellent choice for your business.

Watch out for scammers!

To prevent getting scammed, you need to take your quest for a merchant account provider very seriously. While the steps above seem basic, doing them right can guarantee your business a 99 percent scam-free experience.

Author Bio:

Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of merchant accounts. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.

The 8 kinds of  caviar

Do you remember the first time you had caviar? You’d heard so much about it, this mysterious luxury: tiny black pearls so exquisite in flavor and texture that people paid through the nose for just a dollop. Then, you tasted it. And there it was: salty and fishy, a little black mound on a little fat pancake with some sour creamy spread. You thought to yourself, is this it? Surely, few people fall for caviar upon first bite. It takes those second, third and fourth bites to get it. Then, it’s like, Woah, where have you been all my life!

We tapped Alexandre Petrossian of the Petrossian fine food company and the grandson of one of the first guys to bring to France, then America, to tell us everything there is to know about fancy fish eggs

Caviar is one of the oldest delicacies

Before raw oysters, before Champagne, before even truffles were deemed a delicacy, caviar was covered by kings and the aristocracy. Ancient Greeks, Romans and Russian tsars were all known to splurge on caviar

Caviar is not as expensive as you think

OK, it’s definitely not cheap. But caviar prices have dropped in recent years as advances in aquaculture, especially domestically, have made farmed sturgeon more available and affordable. Coincidentally, the U.S. was also responsible for a severe drop in prices in the early 19th century, when lake sturgeon was discovered to be plentiful here

The salmon roe on your sushi is not caviar!

Caviar was originally harvested by Russian and Persian fishermen in the Caspian Sea. The term refers to unfertilized salt-cured fish eggs from different species of sturgeon, including Ossetra, Sevruga and Beluga. Just about all 26 species of sturgeon have been used for caviar

Caviar is judged on its color, flavor, texture and maturity

The finest, most expensive caviars are older, larger eggs that are lighter in color. Lower quality caviar is younger, with a less intensely fishy flavor, and darker in color. It’s a good thing, too, for caviar newbies, who are more likely to start on the cheaper, milder stuff

Caviar lasts more than a day

Because it’s technically cured fish, caviar has a decent shelf-life, even after it’s opened. Store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, as close to the freezer as possible, and it should stay fresh for about a month

Caviar is like wine

Caviar junkies and VIPs will seek out reserve caviar, the rarest and most expensive of all caviars. In the Middle Ages, many countries had laws that required the finest caviar to be reserved for the monarchy. Reserve caviar would have been that caviar

Caviar is like Prozac

Historically, caviar was prescribed to alleviate depression. Hey, wouldn’t you feel better if someone gave you caviar? It’s not as fishy as it sounds: recent studies show that high doses of omega-3 fatty acids – caviar is rich in omega-3s – may alleviate symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder

Caviar is like Viagra

It was also prescribed for impotence. Hey, now.